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      CommentAuthorJ.Brennan
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.241)
    @Mercer: I'm a Lovecraft fiend. If I had to narrow it down I'd say The Colour Out of Space. Seems more frightening to me for its lack of cults and gods (though I do love me some of them). And for good measure also The Shadow Out of Time; it does an excellent creepy job of making humanity feel cosmically insignificant.

    For my own reading, finally grabbed a copy of Ubik and looking forward to a good PKD mind-rinse.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.242)
    @Mercer: Thank you for the link. Good site, that.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.243)
    I just finished Kobold Wizard's Dildo of Enlightenment +2 for my bad book review podcast.

    It is just as good as you might imagine based off of the title.

    Recently also finished Matthew Stover's Caine's Law, which is the fourth book in the series. A little confusing as the plot jumps around between different times and various possible realities but, hey, it's Caine so of course I'm going to read it.

    @Mercer and J.Brennan

    Mine has always been a fan of "The Music of Erich Zann". Something about the doomed musician fighting to keep the horror from beyond reality locked away, up until the final end, and failing pretty much captures Lovecraft's theme of "you're human, you're fucked, and there's damn little you can do to stop it" perfectly for me. Other than that I think "Shadow over Innsmouth" is a close second.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.244)
    I finally finished the Jack Vance homage collection Songs of the Dying Earth. The last two stories were by George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman. Both excellent. I highly recommend the collection to Jack Vance fans.

    I bought my third-ever electronic book, Beyond Outrage by Robert Reich, the former labor secretary and liberal pundit. I started it last night. Based on the introduction, it can be summed up as "The middle and working class have been screwed; we've worked ourselves into an economic and political corner; it won't get any better unless people stop bitching and organize."
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      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.245)
    @ Mercer

    The Quest of Iranon, The Colour out of Space, The Dream stories (Silver Key, Kadath etc), The Horror at Red Hook, The Dunwich Horror and The Shadow Over Innsmouth are among my favourites.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.246)
    Just finished "Girl Who Played with Fire." I liked it, but not nearly as much as I liked the first one (this one was more "meh,"), so I read this NY Times review on "Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" to help me determine if I want to spend the time to read the third in the series or not. I had to chuckle because that review accurately described my feelings on the books so far. Especially the bit about how much coffee people seem to drink in this story, and how often he uses the word "whore" as a way to make someone an instant bad-guy.

    But these transparently “activist” moments are forgivable, as is the pathological coffee drinking, a tic that recurs so relentlessly that I don’t think Larsson realized it was a tic. A thought on this subject: Many of the Larsson faithful subscribe to a belief that the author’s premature death was not of natural causes. He had been threatened in real life by skinheads and neo-Nazis; ergo, the theories go, he was made dead by the very sorts of heavies who crop up in his novels. But such talk has been emphatically dismissed by Larsson’s intimates. So let me advance my own theory: Coffee killed him.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.247)
    As authorial tics go, the coffee thing doesn't sound too bad. My least favourite is the any-and-all-beautiful-women-throw-themselves-at-unremarkable-men tic.

    Although I guess sometimes it's an intentional wish-fulfilment fantasy thing. Which I could also live without.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.248)
    The coffee tic doesn't bother me, it's just hard to ignore how much coffee those people drink. And reading those books made me want coffee; my caffeine intake definitely went up the last couple weeks while I read the first two books.

    Intentional wish-fulfillment fantasies bug the heck out of me. Mostly because it makes a book feel really fan-ficy and makes the characters utterly unrealistic.
    • CommentAuthorCrusherJoe
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.249)
    @Mercer Is that the complete works of HPL that I found in the Barnes and Noble Classics section, next to the Poe, Wells, Verne, Hawthorne, Austen, etc? Purple cosmic type cover.

    Way back, I emailed S.T. Joshi to see if there was an all-in-one volume of HPL and that stalwart biographer teased me to watch the stores. In two weeks, that single massive tome had been published. I'm almost done with it, and I'm on the essay "Supernatural In Literature."

    I'm about to start digging into the Lovecraftian correspondence. My goal is to have some sort of HPL one man show I can perform, and I think I have a way into it. Fingers crossed. That enthusiasm notwithstanding, it took me forever to get through all of The Complete Works. I devoured HPL in college, but it was rough going this time. The best stories were the ones that always seem to stand out, but any others were a tough row to hoe. It made me wonder what had changed in me since I was last immersed in the text, and that that might be sometime to pay attention to if I'm bringing HPL to curious theatre noobs.
  1.  (10422.250)
    Umm, if you click on the link, it's a fan-made compilation of 'all the original stories which Lovecraft wrote as an adult', available free as an EPUB or MOBI file. I'm reading on the Kindle, and haven't come across any glitches / typos so far. No essays or correspondence, so I guess 'Complete' is stretching it a bit...

    Good luck with the show! Sounds interesting...
  2.  (10422.251)
    @Flecky: Welcome!

    @ J.Brennan, RenThing, nigredo: From your selections, looks like I've still got a lot of good stuff to look forward to...
    • CommentAuthorCrusherJoe
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.252)
    In other news, I just finished El Dorado, a Scarlet Pimpernel novel, and The Humbugs of the World by P.T. Barnum, which might be the most descriptive source on the Davenport Brothers' psychic swindle that I can find.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.253)
    I hardly noticed the coffee drinking in Larrson's books. Maybe because I drink a lot of it myself?

    The beautiful women falling for the journalist was a bit more jarring / ludicrous. Also the notion that a small print magazine would be so influential. Maybe they still are in Sweden?

    In any case, while "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was the strongest book by far, I liked them all.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
     (10422.254)
    The Larsson books and the movies are still on my To Consume list, but as a Norwegian, let me tell you this: Scandinavian do drink a FUCKLOAD of coffee. Like, you have no idea (Unless you're Scandinavian). Take the words "tea", "pint", "bitter" and "lager" in British media and replace all of them with "coffee". Then you're getting close.

    Coffee is the social drink there for any time other than the weekend. You don't get together for pints, you get together for coffee.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2012
     (10422.255)
    Aloha From Hell. I had such a blast with Kill the Dead that I wanted more Sandman Slim.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2012
     (10422.256)
    Re: Larsson and coffee

    I just finished the first four George RR Martin Song of Ice and Fire books. I didn't notice the coffee in Millennium, but boy can I tell that Martin likes his feed.
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     (10422.257)
    Book nerds, I have A DILEMMA.

    I have, after more than a year and a half, finished PART ONE of Don Quixote. In that time I've read several other books, and comics, and all sorts of other stuff. In fact, I'm currently reading two books from my Urban Form class (this one by the Guns, Germs, and Steel guy and this one by the [ton of other books] guy).

    The DILEMMA part is that I have a giant backlog of things to read, and it's taken me a year and a half to slog through half a book that I enjoy but ultimately have to force myself to read. The wife jokes that I should just wait the ten years that it took for Cervantes to publish Part Two, and I'm inclined to go along with it.

    WHAT SAY YOU, WHITECHAPEL BOOK NERDS?
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      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     (10422.258)
    Life is too short to force yourself to read a novel.

    Non-fiction is sometimes worth it, if you need the specific knowledge it contains.

    But if a novel does not compel you to read it, and you are not obliged by money or friendship to read it, then you are just wasting time you could be reading better books.

    Classics can be bad. Especially translated classics. And I have never loved Cervantes. Let it go.
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     (10422.259)
    I'm sort of with Bill, here, but say you enjoy it but you have to make yourself read it, and it depends on the ratio between those two.

    I have really enjoyed some classics, and found others dry like old leaves. I don't think everything you read should be a page-turner, but if it feels like eat-your-greens homework to pick up and go through, there are thousands more books youll never have the time to read. I really don't think there's any duty to read even something like Don Quixote.
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      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     (10422.260)
    if you have to force yourself, give it up (even if I've always enjoyed Cervantes).